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FFF is this weekend – I hope to see some of you there. This is the eleventh one – wow.

I’m teaching a new-to-me class, on Japanese loop braiding. There’s no concrete evidence for the marudai braiding stand before the early seventeenth century, but there are all these braids, including the lacing for the plate armor. So how were they made? Based on very extensive research and analysis, Masako Kinoshita posits that they were braided using hand-held loops. Nifty, no?

I didn’t realize it was controversial that the Norse were trading to the east, and importing all kinds of luxury goods including silk, but apparently I was wrong. A forthcoming book, Silk for the Vikings by Marianne Vedeler, covers just that.

Elizabeth Wayland Barber muses on the meaning of “handmade.” I’m not sure she clearly makes her point, but it’s nice to see an essay on craft at the NY Times.

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